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Under Pressure Every time the phone rings, it's a stressed-out employee calling in sick. What can you do?

By Laura Tiffany

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Our super-fast economy has finally led to super-fed-up workers,who are calling in sick in droves simply because they feel entitledto days off. Entitlement is at an all-time high for the second yearin a row, accounting for 19 percent of unscheduled absencesaccording to the 1999 CCH Unscheduled Absence Survey.

Though absenteeism declined 7 percent last year, unscheduledabsences still cost employers an average of $602 per employeeannually. And a good chunk of that change can be attributed to arise in reported stress (which tripled between 1995 and 1999) andthe subsequent spread of the entitlement mentality (which more thandoubled).

"People feel they've been working longer hours-in somecases because jobs aren't being filled quickly due to theincredibly tight job market. Remaining workers end up picking upthe slack," explains Susan Jacksack, a senior small-businessanalyst for the CCH BusinessOwner's Toolkit, a Web site run by the Riverwoods,Illinois, business and legal publishing firm.

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